If your company is looking for ways to foster employee engagement on sustainability practices — and your employees care about saving money, the environment and their own health — you’d be hard pressed to find a better way than supporting a bike to work program. Often employers — and employees — don’t know where to start. Here’s a few ways you can seed interest and launch a successful bicycle commuting program at your business.
Survey Says! Get the best information you can about your employees’ current commuting habits; take a survey and collect data such as how far away they live, who already commutes by bicycle, and who might like to try it out. For those that are already commuting by bike, ask what facilities and support they want to see you implement.
Get Started Training. Some employees might find the notion of biking to work daunting, not knowing what equipment they need, how to dress, even what routes they could take to stay safe. Plan a workshop session for your staff that features veteran bicycle commuters, either from your own company or the local bike shop. Focus on gear, safety, and route-finding (don’t forget Google Maps’ bicycle directions feature!). Community Cycles, based in Boulder, offers some great information and training for businesses.
Give Bikes a Home. Bicycle commuters of all stripes want to know there’s a place to safely store their wheels during work. If you can handle the minimal space requirement, there’s nothing better than just bringing the bike into the office — it’ll take up about the same space as a couple of chairs against the wall. Alternately designing secure spaces — a room devoted to bicycle storage, or even individual bike lockers — will go a long way toward reassuring employees you support their green commute.
Support the Appearance. If your employees live nearby, they’ll probably barely break a sweat biking to work. But for the rest of them, the need for a professional appearance at work is a major perceived roadblock to bicycle commuting. Providing showers and lockers is the best way to go, but you can also work with what you have — an empty office can become a dressing area, hooks on the backs of doors or spare closets can hold several days’ worth of clean clothes. Make the initial effort, and wait for the response and add amenities as needed.
For more ideas on bicycle commuting and other workplace sustainability practices, please feel free to contact us.